FOOTBAWW TALK | Excellent stuff from The Williams and Hyatt Show as they cuss and discuss practice, various players as the practice is happening.
DEFENDERS NEED TO CONTRIBUTE | LAJ's Don Williams writes about how sophomore defenders DE Kindred Evans and DE Branden Jackson need to contribute this year. I'm working on another post about the defense that I hope to have ready by next week and the absolutely awful play of the defensive line, other than DE Scott Smith. Here's Williams on Jackson:
Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound redshirt freshman from McKeesport, Pa., has gained about 30 pounds since he reported to Lubbock last summer.
"That’s helped me be more confident," Jackson said this week, "because I felt real skinny and I felt weak coming in last semester. The confidence helps a lot now that I’m stronger as I come off the edge. I know I’ve got to compete with people who have been playing since their freshman year, like Dartwan (Bush) and (Leon) Mackey and Jackson (Richards).
"They’re all stronger than me. Dartwan’s a lot quicker than me. So I’ve got to compete every day just to try to get my name out there and get a spot."
And Williams on Evans:
Like Jackson, Evans said gaining weight and strength are his first orders of business. Evans has seen some lower-body strength improvements. He’s "still trying to put on as much muscle as I can up top."
Learning the finer points of his position is an equally high priority. It helps going against second-team all-Big 12 left tackle LaAdrian Waddle every day in practice.
"He’s helped me work a lot on my pass rushing," Evans said, "because he’s a real good pass blocker. He’s also helped me improve my hand skills. He’s real good with his hands, and his arms are super long, so if you don’t get your hand placement right he’ll mess you up."
NOTES, NOTES AND MORE NOTES | LAJ's Don Williams is doubling up with notes, one from Wednesday and another from Thursday. There's so much there that I can't summarize it, but Williams discusses how K Ryan Bustin is having a great spring practice, Bradley Marquez is back at wide receiver because of the short-term injuries of WR Eric Ward and WR Marcus Kennard and the fact that IR/RB Sadale Foster, RB Kenny Williams and RB Ronnie Daniels are all playing well. In the Thursday notes, Williams writes that redshirt freshman WR Derek Edwards had some good practices two days in a row and redshirt freshman S J.J. Gaines has played well of late. LB Will Smith is seemingly making plays every day.
DAVIS' SCRIMMAGE THOUGHTS | S Cody Davis gives some brief thoughts about the first scrimmage and remember how we all got sucked in with former defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow yelling and screaming . . . stay together hunt together or something like that? Well, maybe there was a lot of screaming, but not a lot of teaching:
With that said, the first four practices went by very smooth and productive. Instead of hearing a screaming coach 24/7 when you did good or bad, there were coaches who set high expectations that corrected you when you did something wrong but also praised you when you did good. Don't get me wrong there was still yelling, but less yelling and more teaching. This made for a less stressful experience than some previous springs. We had steadily learned new defensive packages and coverage calls as the first practices progressed and had gotten in the grove of how things were going to be run.
Tuberville's hire of Glasgow and Willis is looking worse and worse as time moves forward, I've written quite often that I think that this is Tuberville's final shot and that Art Kaufman needs to be the guy that can get this defense slightly improved.